I just came across an incredible campaign anecdote while working on my dissertation. Check out this excerpt from a Washington Post story on the 1978 US Senate race in Maine:
Three independents are challenging Hathaway and Cohen, but only one of them, former state senator Hayes Gahagan, was expected to attract many votes.
The campaign of the 30-year-old conservative has foundered, however, since he announced that someone had implanted the word "sex" on his face in his campaign photographs.
He says he has since discovered the same word appears in Cohen and Hathaway campaign photographs and he makes no claim to know who is doing the implants. But he is calling for a congressional investigation of what he terms "a national scandal" of subliminal advertising.
His problem is that people outside his campaign, including this reporter, can't see the words even with the aid of a magnifying glass.
Just to reiterate, Gahagan wasn't some random loon; he was a former state senator who was a serious enough candidate that the Post reporter actually got out a magnifying glass to look for the word "sex." Wow.